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Southernmost Point Buoy – Key West (All You NEED To Know!)

There’s much to explore in Florida, the Sunshine State of the US. As the nickname suggests, there is much sunny weather to be enjoyed, among other awesome things like the beaches, amusement parks, the Walt Disney World, and more. But we are heading to a very specific location in the south. In fact, we are travelling to the very edge, the very tip of the south, also known as the Southernmost Point, Key West (the southernmost city in the United States).

Is there more to see than a big Buoy that marks the southernmost point? What’s the story? Why visit at all? We want answers, so if you do too, stick around.

The Southernmost Point – History 101

Southernmost Point Buoy
Southernmost Point Concrete Buoy

The Southernmost Point is marked by the famous landmark – the Southernmost Point Buoy. It is one of the most iconic landmarks you can visit when in Key West. The buoy was built in 1983 by the city – you can find this bulgy landmark standing in content silence at the corner of Whitehead Street and South Street.

Fascinatingly, a time before this famous buoy was erected, a wooden sign stood in its place since the 1970s – which only read “The Southernmost Point of the southernmost city, Key West Fla.”

Location of Southernmost Point on Map


Best Time to Visit

The best season to visit Key West is during Spring. Especially if you are coming ready to enjoy some thrilling water-related activities. But the best time to visit the famous Southernmost Point Buoy would be around 8.00 a.m. – 9.00 a.m. – or better yet earlier! Why? Fewer crowds

Click here to find out if it’s possible to see Cuba from the southernmost point – Key West.

Things to Do and See Near the Southernmost Point, Key West

Sunset at Key West

Lounge and Dip at the South Beach

It is one of the smallest public beaches in Key West – but! some go as far as calling it one of the best things in the Southernmost Point (we neither confirm nor deny this – the beach has its days). This calm beach is perfect for a cooling dip, and its lightly white shore is ideal for lounging. If you want to catch that sunset at the south tip, this is where you come to. 

Enjoy some Rum Punch and Cuban Fusion Food!

Food and drinks can be one of the most defining experiences of a holiday. Even here at the Southernmost Point. There are cafes and restaurants aplenty. So go forth with a good appetite (or thirst), and enjoy! Conch is a delicacy readily available here along with a good range of fresh seafood – and flavour-packed Cuban Mix (ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese and more!). You can taste the best of two worlds.

The Southernmost Beach Café is a popular choice, so check it out.

Tour the Archeo Gallery

Travel along Duval Street to visit this unique Art Gallery. From rugs to wooden artefacts and jewellery, many if not most artefacts you will find here are African and Persian. All exhibits are beautifully displayed – creating perfect harmony between an ancient and a timeless feel.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty and history of these valuable displays. The staff is very knowledgeable and helpful, so you don’t just witness these incredible exhibits – you also get to learn something fascinating.

Southernmost Point Trolley Stop

One of the most unique and fun ways to experience the Southernmost Point is to come on a hop-on-hop-off trolly tour. These bright orange trollies will take you around town! When the trolly passes the town sights and arrives at the Southernmost Point – for sightseeing, you would have gotten a good tour around the old town of Key West.

Visit the Southernmost House!

This historic house (now a hotel) is worth a visit. Right away you’ll get that it appears quirky and whimsical with its olden-day structure and the bright pastel colours, which weirdly go with the whole coastal scene.

There’s definitely a cosy feel to it. You can have a look around the small museum – that’s also the lobby. You can overlook the fabulous ocean view over the pool (the pool is only open for hotel guests) and enjoy a good pizza with a chilled cocktail!


Fascinating Facts About Southernmost Point

  • Technically the Southernmost Point is not the southernmost point. It is Whitehead Spit – which is further south than the Southernmost Point. However, the island is restricted to the general public, so Southernmost Point is the most accessible southmost destination.
  • The Southernmost Point Buoy is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the USA.
  • At the top of the buoy – there is a painting labelled The Conch Republic. It was painted in the 1970s when Key West was attempting to revamp its image as a party-hard beach town.
  • At the top of the buoy – there is a painting of painting labelled The Conch Republic. This was painted in the 1970s when Key West was attempting to revamp its image as a party-hard beach town.
  • The monument stands 90 miles from Cuba. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Southernmost Point

What is the Buoy made of?

The buoy is made of concrete.

How Big is the Southernmost Point Buoy?

It’s 12 feet (approx. 3.6 metres) tall and 7 feet (approx. 2 metres) wide.

Is there Parking available near the Southernmost Point Buoy?

There are plenty of street parking spots available. If you make a bit of effort, you definitely can find a good spot. But please remember to feed the pay box and stick the receipt on your dashboard, so you won’t get a different kind of ticket.

Do you have to pay to take a Photo with the Iconic Landmark at the Southernmost Point?

No, it is free! (at least for now).

How do you avoid the long line of tourists to get your picture without delay?

Visit in the morning – the earlier, the better.

Are there Sharks in the coastal waters of the Southernmost Point?

You can expect to spot some sharks. The nurse shark is the most commonly spotted shark when snorkelling or scuba diving – in most cases harmless.